It's a common subject of discussion amongst gamers, and there appears to be no definitive answer.

Given the multiplayer boom and the rise of the casual/mainstream gamer, lengthy single-player campaigns aren't as highly sought-after. Many will still say they won't buy a game unless it satisfies in the single-player category, but that group is often drowned out by the hordes of multiplayer enthusiasts. The most popular games of the generation thus far are in the Call of Duty franchise, and campaign length is obviously irrelevant. Certain hardcore gamers who still love their RPGs require a long, in-depth, fulfilling story, but what can be considered a "decent length" for other genres?

Shooters especially fall under the microscope. Take id Software's upcoming Rage , for instance. It is large enough to require two DVDs for the Xbox 360 version and yet, according to what creative director Tim Willits told OXM , the game can be beaten in under 15 hours. An interesting blend of open-ended elements and shooter mechanics (ala Borderlands ), one would assume the sheer size of the game would translate to more than 15 hours. Then again, if we are to dub Rage a "shooter," that's almost an unheard-of length in this day and age. So the question seems to revolve around the perception of the gaming community.

It's not just about getting our money's worth; it's about feeling as if we accomplished something, and had the time to experience a fully fleshed-out story. That desire seems to be falling by the wayside, but do you see that 15-hour report as good news or bad news? And what are we calling Rage ? It's not exactly like CoD or Battlefield , now is it? Then again, it's not exactly The Elder Scrolls

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maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

I don't believe it's a difficult question at all.

For shooters, I believe 12 hours is good.

When it comes to an RPG, I want at least 100 hours.

With games like GOW3, 20 hours is perfect.


Last edited by maxpontiac on 4/6/2011 12:23:06 PM

thj_1980
thj_1980
9 years ago

I agree with you.

Good call!
But RPG? 100 HOURS that is a lot of your life you are not getting back.

I would say 80 at least!

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

Well, I spent over 100 hours in Fallout 3. It took me about a year to complete it.

thj_1980
thj_1980
9 years ago

You sir, are a very determine person. over 1 year to complete fallout 3 with addons? or without?

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

Determined? I don't know about that, it's just that certain games, because of their scale take a long time. That was everything that Fallout 3 had to offer.

TheAgingHipster
TheAgingHipster
9 years ago

While 100 hours might be awesome for some gamers, there are those of us who would never have that much free time to dedicate to a single game. For me, 40 hours is about the most time I can ever dedicate to one game before the next big release comes my way!

Gabriel013
Gabriel013
9 years ago

Even when my gaming time dropped to a couple hours per week, I still preferred to play something like FO3 rather than a short FPS.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

15 hours is a step in the right direction but with Rage being a Falloutish game I expected more. This game just turned into a wait n' see for me. As if it isn't bad enough they had to cut content due to the lack of DVD space on the 360, now the game is going to be shorter than expected. Was looking forwardd to this game because nothing else has really caught my eye in the RPG shooter catagory. Kinda disappointing to here this news.

Alienange
Alienange
9 years ago

Falloutish? That's what they said about Borderlands too and it was sorely lacking in the Fallout clone department. If Rage is going that route I'm going to wait and see as well.

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

Jawknee –

You and I have discussed this before, but my multiplatform titles that I purchase are coming to close. The games and their environments are getting bigger, hence, filling up more DVD space, which in turn means the developers must cut content.

Oh well, it's not like Sony's exclusives aren't good. LOL

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Indeed guys. Indeed.

NoOneSpecial
NoOneSpecial
9 years ago

And did you guys hear about the XBox 360 Software Update? It adds an extra 1GB of space to the CDs. Looks like we're going to be getting some better mulitplats soon!


Last edited by NoOneSpecial on 4/6/2011 8:23:31 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

LOL! I don't know if you're being sarcastic or not but if you aren't, I'm just going to pretend you are.

Imagi
Imagi
9 years ago

Depends on the game, anything that works out more than $7.5 per hour for a single player game is taking the piss.

I tend now to take my time on most single player games to make the most of them.

Alienange
Alienange
9 years ago

LOL @ 2 DVDs for a 15 hour game.

It's a good length I guess, but I found Borderlands rather dull and repetitive so I certainly hope Rage isn't going that route to make their game longer.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I know right. FFXIII was 20 hours for each disc on the 360 and that game's graphics probably out do Rage's. This is lame.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

But isn't RAGE rendering at 1080p natively on all platforms? That has to take up a TON of disc space.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Not that I know I of. Not saying you're wrong. Just that I have never heard that claim before. The way I understand it is the Xbox can't render 1080p native. It can only upscale.

TheAgingHipster
TheAgingHipster
9 years ago

According to sources (N4G, Microsoft webpage), 360s produced after 2007, or those that have had the RROD fixed since then, can natively display 1080p. Geometry Wars 2 is an example of a native Full HD game on the system.

Qubex
Qubex
9 years ago

Jawk, the upscaling point you made about the 360 – as far as I can remember – is correct ūüôā But it would be good to be 100% certain.

Theoretically the GPU in the 360 should be able to create and display a full 1080p frame, no reason why the hardware can't do it.

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
9 years ago

i certainly view 15 hrs as a positive for this type of game. i'm very reluctant to purchase games with 5hr campigns that can be beaten in a coupole of days even with the multiplayer. it just does not feel like a good value.


Last edited by Excelsior1 on 4/6/2011 12:45:09 PM

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

Either does 15 hours for game such a Rage. All I know is that I am holding off this game now.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

8 to 15 hours should be the goal for your typical shooter. 15 hours for a supposed RPG Shooters is weakest kind of sauce imaginable.

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

It definately depends on the game, and whether or not the person buying/playing the game cares/likes multiplayer. Killzone 3 I beat in probably 6 hours. Extremely short if I didn't care about multiplayer. But I do and probably have logged over 20 hours into multiplayer.

A game like Heavy Rain (which I just completed- awesome game btw) was also about 6-7 hours to complete. But there is no multiplayer to go back to. Can I go back and platinum the game and play through it again to see the different endings? Sure. But I won't experience anything like my first play through, now that I know whats going to happen. I'm glad I waited until it was a Greatest Hit and only had to pay $30 for it. I don't think a game like that is worth it to buy full price with such little (overall) playing time and questionable replayability.

That being said, not all games that don't have multiplayer are not worth buying full price. God of War 3 being an example, played through that game twice and logged in quite a bit of hours because it was just a joy to play. To each there own, but story driven single player games that are short on length are hard to justify buying full price IMO.

slugga_status
slugga_status
9 years ago

Each play thru of Heavy Rain is different man. You may know who the killer is but trust me..make different decisions each play thru and you will see different results in each scene.

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

I've been meaning to get my 2nd play through in. I've been playing the Socom Beta alot though! But I know what you're saying, Slugga. I was just making a point that I would probably get more enjoyment out of playing KZ3 online then I would going through a story I already completed, even if part of it is different each time. To each their own, I suppose

slugga_status
slugga_status
9 years ago

For some reason I can't get into Socom..there's nothing I don't like about it..Just can't get into it..weird..I get your point and agree..kind of depends on the game and whether or not you're into trophies..But you'll enjoy that 2nd playthrough though

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

Yea it seems like not alot of people on this site are really into the beta. Everytime I bring it up with great enthusiasm and praise I hear crickets. Its a different kind of shooter, I suppose. Its slower than say Killzone or CoD.

And its a tatical "squad-based" game, meaning if you're playing with people that communicate regulary and are willing to listen, it's a blast….if you don't and just run around on your own, and play with people that do the same… it's easy to get picked off and can get incredibly frustrating. I did that for awhile, then realized I needed to be more vocal. Do you have a headset? I also was a fan of Socom 1 and 2, so I guess that helps.


Last edited by jimmyhandsome on 4/6/2011 2:56:20 PM

DazeOfWar
DazeOfWar
9 years ago

I'm with you jimmy on the Socom beta. I've enjoyed it so far and can't wait for the release. It reminds me of the fun times I use to have on GRAW with my friends. I definitely can't wait to try the co-op stuff.

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

Agreed big time. The SOCOM 4 Beta has made me all but shelve Killzone 3.

SOCRACK is back!!

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

Glad you guys feel the same way! I recently pre-ordered it after been very impressed with the beta. I'll be looking for people to play with should you guys be interested, my PSN name is JimmyHandsome (go figure).

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
9 years ago

i love the socom 4 beta which is now open to the public btw. you have to really watch what you are doing becuase you can be cut down real quick. that might be a turnoff to some.

they are making improvements to it as we speak, and it think it looks/plays great. light years ahead of confrontation.


Last edited by Excelsior1 on 4/6/2011 5:09:19 PM

mexgeo86
mexgeo86
9 years ago

My take on length is that it doesn't matter too much so long as the overall game experience or enjoyment factor are satisfying the gamer. Sure, you can give a range of how long a game should be depending on genre but I would say it varies on the gamer.

For example, I got Killzone 3 on day 1. I usually pass on shooters, but having enjoyed the prior installment I went ahead and got it. To date, I've done about 30 minutes of the campaign but have put in an immense amount of hours into the multiplayer. I've gotten enough enjoyment out of the game that I wouldn't care if the single player was 4 hours; I feel I've gotten my money's worth with all the multiplayer. (Same goes for Super Street Fighter IV)

Now let's look at Mass Effect 2. I got it week 1 and overall would say that it has a great story. However, somewhere along the way I became a bit peeved with its main shooting mechanic, primarily that the enemy AI would usually only shoot at me and not at my companions even if they were out in the open in front of them. It got to the point where I just wanted to finish the game and not do most of the side quests. All this made it seem like it was a LONG game which it can be, but (at that point) for me I wish the main campaign would've been shorter.

With God of War 3, I got through it in about 8 hours which may seem short (to some) for a single player, but I'd argue those 8 hours were full of excitement and awesomeness. Could they have made it twice as long? Perhaps. However, given the nature of the game, it would've required twice the amount of new weapons/upgrades and fighting mechanics so as to prevent the feeling of it being a repetitive 'button masher' per se.

I don't think there's such a thing as a 'Short Game,' however, it will be more difficult to justify a $60 purchase unless that game proves to have a superb experience either in single or multiplayer (usually the latter).

Nlayer
Nlayer
9 years ago

Some games I really like the main storyline to be 15+ hours long! Although I also really like the 6 hour campaigns sometimes too. I don't like paying $60 for 6 hours, but if I had to pay $30 I would very extremely happy (Which is usually why I wait for games to go on sale).

Take Killzone 3 for example. I do not play games online very much so I only bought it for the campaign. It was somewhat short as it only took me about 5 hours to complete on normal. Basically I popped the disc in and by the end of the day it was won. I enjoyed it and I thought it was a good length. It didn't feel too long, nor did it feel too short to me. Since I beat it in a day, I decided to go back and play it through the hardest difficulty which added more playtime to it.

I guess to me shorter games have better replay value. I usually don't put 100 hours into an RPG and then immediately replay that 100 hours (Although I might replay it it 3 years later or so).

But again, $60 for 6 hours isn't a fair trade to me. Especially since I'm paying for the multiplayer online portion as well(since it's on the disc) when I hardly ever touch it! Maybe they could release $30 games without the multiplayer. I wouldn't mind that. Just a thought..


Last edited by Nlayer on 4/6/2011 1:26:17 PM

swapnilgyani
swapnilgyani
9 years ago

Six and half inches

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

I heard at least 7

CrusaderForever
CrusaderForever
9 years ago

I am excited about Rage and I glad it's near or over 15 hours, but give me Borderlands 2 please! Castlevania LoS was epic in it's 20 hours of gameplay. Homefront, a good example of what not to do.


Last edited by CrusaderForever on 4/6/2011 1:43:48 PM

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
9 years ago

castlevannia was epic. tons of value in that game. the story just got better, and better. beautiful, open enviroments with a lot of depth in it's gameplay.

also, the ps3 version was superior. love that, and loved its ending, too. it was a real holy sh*t wtf was that ending.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

Depends how long it can keep feeling fresh. Shooters are generally very repetitive, so five hours seems just the right length before it gets boring. I'd like to see a much greater length, but if it becomes tiresome, then that's not good. Action/adventure can be longer as they usually incorporate platforming/puzzle sections, which help to break up the shooting.

RPGs need a good length to tell the intended tale. But for me, I can log as much time as it takes to play through the single player portion of the game. I want to get all that I can out of my games, and that means the entirety of the SP as I can't play MP. So as I said, I'd like to see all games being longer, but they'd likely turn into very derivative experiences. Seriously though, for a $100AUD purchase, I'm not going to get a game that lasts less than 10 hours, unless I'm sure that it's amazing, or I have an incredible investment of interest in it.
Peace.

slugga_status
slugga_status
9 years ago

Like many of you have said, it really depends on the game. I don't mind a short campaign but it better be one hell of a campaign. It can't be something that just leaves you with no sense of accomplishment or looking to the future of the next release.

Sure I want a long campaign but you know..sometimes longer isn't better. For example after I went back "state side" in Red Dead, seemed as if the story was never going to end. Each genre just needs to find that sweet spot..

Even though I'm not into RPG's..I still remember my friends telling me a lot of them being 20 – 100 hours to do everything..


Last edited by slugga_status on 4/6/2011 2:04:17 PM

Clamedeus
Clamedeus
9 years ago

I like lengthy campaigns but the amount i like, they probably wouldn't even make it and i mean days worth. I wouldn't mind having that in an RPG story wise.

Riku994
Riku994
9 years ago

They probably didn't include time for side-quests and such.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
9 years ago

As long as the game told a compelling story and you felt was worth the playthrough it shouldn't matter.

Though, if it's like 5 hours and they added a lot of online multiplayer then I'd be mad. It just means they spent so much time creating the online portion that they made a short story mode on because of it.

tlpn99
tlpn99
9 years ago

12 hours i'd say is long enough. Obviously 100+ for RPG's.

FPS 8-12 hours with a decent storyline.

Sandbox games like GTA should be bigger and longer.


Last edited by tlpn99 on 4/6/2011 3:09:09 PM

DazeOfWar
DazeOfWar
9 years ago

I do like when the campaigns have some length to them but as long as I feel I got my moneys worth I'm happy. Sometimes when games get to long I tend to never finish them.

FPS 7-10hrs
RPG 40+
Action/Adventure 15-20

Jalex
Jalex
9 years ago

Just to clarify, since I haven't seen anybody else bring it up, Mr. Willits said that the game CAN be completed in 15 hours, but that there are plenty of other things in the campaign to keep players busy for longer.
It sounds like 'Fallout 3' to me, which can be completed in a fairly ridiculously short amount of time if you do only those things necessary to further the main plot.

Ramman
Ramman
9 years ago

i dont lump games into Genres….if it looks good, interests me, and my game research yields a buy then I get it because I love all different types of games but that also brings time X $'s spent. I cant see a company like ID working on a game for 5+ years and then have it only a few hours. All games should be at least 18 – 20 hours minimumto truly be worth the $60.00. well at least that is the way I feel cause I dont have alot to spend so I want my moneys worth!

PSTan
PSTan
9 years ago

Games should not have any form of restrictions or limits to them in terms of length. The length of a game should be determined by it's overall design, and the developer's goals for it. If they want a 4-hour adrenaline rush or a 100-hour meticulous grind, so be it. It should fit into the overall tone, pacing, and gameplay. And besides, this promotes competition to create the best single player campaigns possible, because it forces developers to innovate in gameplay and storytelling. If there was a "required industry standard" (or an attempt to add value), games would just devolve into a few good hours of content fluffed up with repetitive gameplay. And besides, if we wanted the best value for money,we would pick games that put quality over quantity.

Eld
Eld
9 years ago

40h minimum. For RPGs, 60h+.

Lairfan
Lairfan
9 years ago

Games can easily be too short. Take for instance CoD.

Games can also easily be too long. Take for instance, Castlevania: LoS (yeah, thumbs me down all you want, but it was so drawn out it wasn't even funny).

There's always a sweet spot for game length. For me, I'd say anywhere between 12 and 16 hours is a great length for an action/adventure, FPS, or horror game (just look at the great length of Uncharted 2 and Dead Space 2). Open world games should take about 40 hours to do everything IMO, and RPGs should probably take about 70 hours+.

Of course, there are exceptions. KZ3 was about 7 hours for my first playthrough on normal, but I thought it was a good length for the story they were telling.